The Madeleine Pan, Cupboard Story from Ashley, Meta Street Cafe
In an alignment of circumstance a few weeks ago, just before my birthday, cooking friends, Hannah, Sarah, and I, made plans to make French recipes together. We decided on potato onion pie and madeleine cakes. Requiring a madeleine pan, Hannah offered to buy one. Meanwhile, my stepmom, Lynn, knowing nothing of our French cooking plans, was around the block from where we live visiting a woman having a garage sale. The woman was selling vintage baking items a friend, who had passed, owned for many years.
On my birthday I opened my first gift from Lynn, a corn lunn pan. It makes me think of a madeleine pan and I tell her about our plans to make French recipes, including madeleines. Lynn holds out a second gift and tells me that the woman selling this next gift was having a hard time letting it go, that it had been very meaningful to her friend, who loved French cooking.
I open the second gift. In front of me is the woman’s favorite madeleine pan, now in my care. It is a treasured cupboard story and a welcome addition to a cooking day with friends at the Meta Street Cafe.
Potato Pie with Comte Cheese Recipe
4 oz. bacon
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp heavy cream
Start cooking the bacon. Saute onions for a few minutes and add garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Press the pie dough into a pie pan. Add a layer of half the potatoes, season with salt and pepper. Follow with layers of onion, bacon, & cheese. Sprinkle with nutmeg and thyme. Scatter bits of butter on top. Finish with a layer of the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until golden brown and the potatoes are soft. Cover with foil as it cooks, if it is browning too much. 40-45 minutes.
Make pie dough.*
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
*Pie Dough Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cold water
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the butter and work it in with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Make a well in the center and add the egg and water. Mix until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted, melted butter
2 tablespoons orange flower water (we found this at Whole Foods)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Whisk together the sugar, honey, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl until pale and thick. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then gradually fold into the egg mixture Gently stir in the butter, orange flower water, and lemon zest. It is very important for the batter to be cold. That is what makes a good, rounded madeleine with a nice bump.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a madeleine pan.
Bake about 12 minutes, until the madeleines have risen and are golden brown around the edges. Carefully remove from the pans with a butter knife.